#83 STS2 Miata sits menacingly in the pits at Pennington Field...
Well, perhaps it's not so menacing.
This is my 1992 C-Package Mazda Miata, in my opinion one of the greatest cars in history. Mine was rescued in 2005 from a brutally boring owner in Houston, TX, where it had been sitting forlornly in a parking garage. I had been searching for a Miata for a couple of months at the time, after getting a bit fed up with my 1988 Toyota Supra. After finding this one on AutoTrader, I decided to have a look; a quick drive to the city and a gander at this lovely little car quickly made up my mind. I asked for a test drive, and the owner gladly obliged...
I sat down, turned the key... and immediately fell in love. One lap around the block and I was hooked! Who needs horsepower when you have something this much fun?
I purchased the car the next day and began planning my next steps.
Initially, she had red (repainted) interior trim; this I stripped off with thinner and repainted back to black. The stock airbox was dumped in favor a more free-flowing cone filter, and the stock exhaust was pulled for a custom dual system with twin fart cans (a mistake, in retrospect). The exhaust was a bit loud for daily driving; the Miata was my only car at the time. I would have a headache every time I got out of the car after a drive to work.
In November of 2005, after getting back from a midnight movie showing in Austin, I dropped my friend off at her house and headed home; unfortunately, I didn't know the road very well and as I rounded a corner, I hit a large patch of gravel and slid into a ditch, hitting 2 posts in the process. I managed to work the car out of the overly steep dropoff and limped home...
The next morning, I surveyed the damage and this is what I saw:
I was heartbroken.
But, every cloud has a silver lining.
The wreck saved me a lot of money in the end, because while it was down for work, I bought some books and got online to study what I really wanted to do with this car. At first, I wanted to (slightly) rice it out a bit, get as much HP as I could, etc... typical ricer stuff.
But then I started learning the history of the car and how it was developed and designed, and I started to discover just how great these little roadsters are...
Just before buying this Miata, I joined the DFWMiata.com forums, since I was planning to move to that area at the time; I was living in La Grange, TX then (yes, the same one from the ZZ Top song). Through them, I found the Miata.net and Clubroadster.net forums, where I learned an immense amount of information that I couldn't have found elsewhere.
Ideas started to float in my head...
To make a long story longer, I took the car to a body shop in Giddings, TX, to get repainted. I decided to stick with the stock color, but add a set of 3 stripes to it. At the same time, I added a front lip spoiler, a rear spoiler, and a set of mud guards. I was very happy with the result.
Shortly thereafter, I moved to Grapevine, TX, between Dallas and Ft. Worth; this is autocross country. I didn't even know what autocross was until I bought the Miata, and it had never held any interest for me until then. But after meeting some of the other enthusiasts from the area, I started getting very interested...
But, first things first.
My shocks were pretty much shot, so I bought a set of 8-way KYB AGX shocks and some adjustable Ebay coilovers. My friend Jerret Jan loaned me and some other guys his garage for the day, and we installed everything.
The springs were a mistake.
I had NEVER had such a rough ride. My car would lose rear traction all the time due to the jarring springs and skittish rear end. It didn't take me long to toss them and buy an excellent set of Tein S-Tech springs instead; they've worked wonders.
Over the next few months, I did a few more things. The stock Nardi shift knob was ditched for a Team Voodoo spun aluminum job which lowered the grip about an inch or so.
The intake, which I had built from a kit, was swapped out for a more sturdily mounted custom job.
The loud fart can exhaust was swapped back with the stock system, which I then modified to be dual (looks nice!).
The stock "meep meep" horn was switched out for a pair of CRI (Crazy Red Italian) air horns.
The stock BBS 14" wheels were dropped in favor of a beautiful set of Kosei K1 Racing wheels in 15", wrapped with Falken Azeni tires.
I added a Hard Dog Hard Bar roll bar for added protection and looks.
The stock tan leather seats were removed, and black cloth seats added.
The door panels were replaced with newer models, and will soon be recovered to match the new black carpet.
All in all, the car is coming together quite nicely.
So far, I've competed in 2 autocross competitions; both in Novice class, and I won them both. I'll try to compete all year in 2008.
That's all for now!